Of Crimes and Misdemeanors
Crimes and Misdemeanors a philosophical movie by Woody Allen, (1989) which focuses on several different ethical theories really is only about one. I believe John Mill’s act utilitarianism theory dominates the movie.
Quoting Judah, “In reality, we rationalize, we deny, or we couldn't go on living.”
The movie presents the viewer with a look into the mind of an accomplished man, a doctor and his decisions when faced with a human dilemma. Judah Rosenthal is this man and the issues he faces are the unfairness of life, marital infidelity, jealousy and guilt. The film introduces several different ethical theories that could be used to resolve the crisis that Judah the central character is facing. Sol, his father lives by the divine command theory. “God’s will is revealed through scripture.” The Rabbi Ben, Judah’s friend, lives the theistic natural law theory, “And I couldn’t go on if I didn’t feel with all my heart that there’s a moral structure—with real meaning—with forgiveness and some kind of higher power.” Prof Levy leans more toward Kant’s ethical theory simply put “Do unto other others as you would have done to you.”
It is quite apparent from his choices that the only person Judah is truly concerned about is himself as we see how he reacts to threats from his mistress, Dolores that would ruin his reputation, his standing in the community and the life as he knows it. Judah’s dilemma arises because he has committed adultery with a flight attendant, Delores; he met on the way to a medical conference. He chooses to have an affair with this women who he has made promises to about their life together. Judah shows no regard for his wife, family or Delores by embarking on this affair. After two years the woman is tired of playing second in his life and wants him all to herself. She gets hysterical wants to confront his wife with the truth so that Judah will do the right thing by her and divorce his wife and marry her. She also knows...